Carnegie Mellon University: Modern Languages Launches Online Language Courses. “The Department of Modern Languages at Carnegie Mellon University is proud to announce the launch of its new online language programs for Chinese, French and Spanish. … Learners seeking to improve their language skills on their own schedule can choose from two options depending on their preferred method of study — self-paced independent study ($10), or an instructor-led program with weekly meetings and a small group of peers ($50). Certificates will be awarded for successful course completion.” You do not have to have a CMU affiliation to take the classes..
Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona: New online database to aid in learning Chinese. “On 25 November, researchers from the UAB Department of Translation and Interpreting and East Asian Studies will be presenting e·Chinese, an online quadrilingual database created to help users learn Chinese. The presentation will take place at the Confucius Institute Foundation in Barcelona. The main objective of this project, funded by the Confucius Institute Foundation in Barcelona and the UAB Department of Translation and Interpreting and East Asian Studies, is to offer open access to a list of online resources aimed at teaching and learning Chinese.”
University of Oklahoma: University Libraries Acquires Award-Winning Translator’s Archive. “University Libraries’ Chinese Literature Translation Archive has recently acquired noted Scottish translator Brian Holton’s translation archive. These works include a treasure-trove of material on Holton’s translation of Classical Chinese poetry into both English and Scots (Holton is the lone translator of Chinese into Scots) as well as over two decades of hand-written correspondence, draft material, and other important historical documents that reveal the foundation of his partnership with contemporary Chinese poet Yang Lian.”
Techdirt: Fan Uses AI Software To Lipread What Actors Really Said In TV Series Before Chinese Authorities Censored Them. “The AI technology involved using Google’s Facemesh package, which can track key ‘landmarks’ on faces in images and videos. By analyzing the lip movements, it is possible to predict the sounds of a Chinese syllable. However, there is a particular problem that makes it hard to lipread Chinese using AI. There are many homophones in Chinese (similar sounds, different meanings). In order to get around this problem, [Eury] Chen explored the possible sequences of Chinese characters to find the ones that best match the plot at that point. As his blog post (and the ChinAI translation) explains, this allowed him to work out why certain lines were blocked by the Chinese authorities — turns out it was for totally petty reasons.”
The Bejinger: Machine Non-Learning: The Chinese Words That Trip Up Google Translate. “Humankind now speaks more than 5,000 languages, which as anyone who has traveled or lived in a foreign country can attest to, makes life more interesting, if not at times several times more complicated. It is fairly common then for us to turn to translation tools for help, and Google Translate is probably one of the most trusted popular among them (despite the hurdles of the GFW). Yet when translating a language like Chinese – one that is radically different from the Latin language family – digital translators may not be savvy enough to provide a nuanced, reliable definition after all.”
The Sentinel: Computer science team creates coding program to interpret Chinese social media texts. “Kennesaw State Professor of computer science Dr. Dan Lo and his team of students created a program last semester to data mine Chinese social media sites in partnership with the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, China. Lo said the program retrieves and deciphers posts on popular Chinese social media outlets like Weibo and WeChat.”
Dexigner: Synoptic Office Launches Open Source Archive of Chinese Typefaces. “Synoptic Office has launched Chinese Type Archive, a volunteer-run, open data resource that will bring awareness and discussion around Chinese typefaces for designers. The archive aims to support designers who use Chinese typography by developing descriptors for concepts and typefaces, as well as archiving related and relevant visual examples.”
BusinessWire: Amazon Launches Support for Traditional Chinese Books on Kindle (PRESS RELEASE). “Amazon announced today that Kindle customers around the globe can now enjoy reading from a growing selection of more than 20,000 Traditional Chinese language Kindle books with the free Kindle app for iPhone, iPad, Android phones and tablets, and on Kindle devices. “
CNET: A Chinese translation app is censoring politically sensitive terms, report says . “More Chinese tech firms are erring on the side of caution when it comes to policing content on their platforms. iFlytek, a voice recognition technology provider in China, has begun censoring politically sensitive terms from its translation app, South China Morning Post reported citing a tweet by Jane Manchun Wong.”
ZDNet: Microsoft researchers match human levels in translating news from Chinese to English. “A team of Microsoft researchers say they’ve created the first machine-translation system that can translate sentences of Chinese news articles to English with the same accuracy as humans.”
Dogtown Media: Microsoft Unleashes an AI-Powered Language Learning App
. “Microsoft’s new AI-powered iOS app is called Learn Chinese. It’s free and, as you probably can guess from the name, teaches you Chinese. Using deep neural networks (you can read more about those here), the app interprets your words by figuring out what you’re saying before evaluating the pronunciation. With increased use of the app, you’ll find yourself progressing with Chinese, and the app will keep score too.” The article doesn’t specify but considering the screenshot included the phrase Ni hao I’m assuming this is Mandarin. If you look for this on the app store please search for Microsoft learn Chinese since there are approximately ten billion apps called Learn Chinese. The reviews are not great.
PRNewswire: ProQuest Helps Libraries Meet Demand for Chinese-language Resources (PRESS RELEASE). “ProQuest is collaborating with Asian Studies scholars, librarians and Chinese-language publishers to offer a selection of Chinese- language ebooks, enabling libraries to provide resources demanded by researchers. The growing collection spans thousands of titles available on the Ebook Central®, ebrary® and EBL platforms. The platforms’ multi-language interfaces accommodate readers of traditional and simplified Chinese, and other languages.”